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Uber: A Big Bang Disruptor

Last week we wrote an article on our digital marketing blog about a new phenomenon – Big Bang Disruption. In the article we spoke of best practices [Google and Apple] related to startups that cause disruption to your digital strategy and legacy products and services.

Of course, one blog cannot begin to sum up the “Big Bang Disruption” revolution we embarked upon. So we have decided to write this follow up article which provides tips on how to become a Big Bang Disrupter and in the process will provide more examples of best practices in this area.

Everything we know about digital marketing strategy and innovation up until now is outdated.

Entire product lines and whole markets are either being created or destroyed overnight by a phenomenon called “Big Bang Disruptions”. The reason being that the new products and services are not only better, but cheaper than their “legacy” competitors.  And unlike previous innovations, the “big bang disruptors” do not need much time to innovate and win over customers.

Case Study: Uber

The disruption is also affecting hard-asset businesses. Consider the impact of new mobile social networking/transportation network application Uber on mature taxi and limousine services. Unlike traditional taxi and limousine services, Uber permits cab riders to order and pay for rides with their mobile devices, track dispatched rides using location services and rate the driver after each trip. You get to choose your driver, your favorite car and drive from one place to another in luxury – things that cab drivers can’t do with traditional services.

How was Uber able to gain fandom? One distinct channel was event sponsorship. Uber was highly active at local-area events and offered free rides to attendees (e.g., PanAm Games in Toronto and their ride sharing program to reduce traffic overload). Uber also knew that these attendees were well connected socially and highly likely to share their experiences with friends, the media, and social media audiences. They were right about that!

Uber also knew that once they got consumers hooked on their service, it’ll be their preferred mode of getting around from that moment forward. That insight and confidence made it easy to make the first ride a free trial. The company routinely handed out (and still do) $20 first ride credits that let new users take a free Uber ride to try them out. This incentive removes any barriers that new riders may have and after experiencing Uber they are exceptionally likely to become a long-term customer.

How Uber Became a Big Bang Disruptor

It is unquestionable that Uber filled a precious gap in the market, which reflected its success over a short period of time. Here is how Uber succeeded as a disruptor in the market:

1. Timing

Having the perfect timing for your product launch is important. Uber found the perfect timing to disrupt the market and offer passengers a service they weren’t aware they needed. You can do the same by carefully observing other companies’ flameouts and see what needs improvement.

2. Convenience

Uber offers drivers and passengers great advantage over other transportation options and services. Booking through your smartphone, getting immediately paired with an available driver, paying automatically through credit card are only a few of the conveniences of Uber. Take advantage of gaps in the market by thinking of ways to make your product or service simpler or easier to access than your competition.

3. PriceUber_screenshot

The most effective way of curbing the competition is to offer a more affordable product or service. Uber promises lower fares than any taxi. All you need to worry about is to offer a comparable service that doesn’t sacrifice quality for the lower price.

4. Application

Uber’s Application for Smartphones poses key advantages to all users. The map view, driver and rider info available make the experience more personal and interactive. Riders and drivers can choose each other, and rate each other after the ride.  Also, the App is designed for easy and practical use.

5. Marketing Strategy

Uber was well aware that the service was generally unknown and that it needed some sort of incentive to get people started. This is where they launched their first promotion offering new passengers $20 off their first ride. They also ran a Referral Program, where a passenger receives $$20 when referring Uber to new passengers. This portrays how knowing your product and target properly can help you develop effective marketing campaigns that engage your audience. Also note that social media is key to reaching your target, especially when establishing a brand and launching promotions.


Nothing about “Big Bang Disruptions” is hard to duplicate. But the common reply from incumbents so far has been to focus their efforts on convincing their customers to ban the new entrants rather than figure out how to compete with them. That response is both predictable and stereotypical. It is also counterproductive because their efforts have not exactly helped their case. People are still using the new entrants.  We recommend you go on offence instead of defense and with a carefully thought out digital and social media marketing strategy become a successful big bang disruptor!

DMAC specializes in online digital marketing courses and in-house corporate training, developing customized and sustainable educational solutions for all types of businesses. From conception to implementation, our online courses and corporate training will help you and your employees remain up to date on all the latest digital marketing and social media marketing best practices. Visit our site here and see how DMAC’s innovative education solutions can help you or your company.



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October 29, 2015

1 responses on "Uber: A Big Bang Disruptor"

  1. I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

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